John Legend Leads Powerful Performance For Ukraine At 2022 Grammy Awards

By Sarah Tate

April 4, 2022

64th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Telecast
Photo: Getty Images

John Legend debuted his new song "Free" honoring Ukraine at the 64th Grammy Awards on Sunday (April 3) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The powerful performance was introduced in a pre-recorded message by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who spoke of the hardships his country is facing during the Russian invasion but added that "music will break through" the chaos of war.

Wearing a bright blue suit paying homage to the Ukraine flag, Legend led the performance from the piano where he yearned for soldiers to lay down their weapons and "let peace rush in."

He was then joined by several Ukrainian musicians, including Siuzanna Iglidan from Odessa and Mika Newton from Burstyn, whose sister is serving in the Ukrainian army, as well as poet Lyuba Yakimchuk, who fled Ukraine just a few days before the performance.

The Recording Academy also partnered with Global Citizen to Stand Up For Ukraine, encouraging viewers to donate to help provide shelter, food, water, healthcare and more to those who have been displaced by the war. For more information, check out the website here.

By take the Grammys stage, Legend got a look at what to expect for his own highly-anticipated Las Vegas residency, which kicks off this month at the Zappos Theater. During an exclusive iHeartRadio Live Show, he opened up about what it means that he is joining the ranks of other artists who have had their own residency.

"It's amazing. I'm in great company," he said. "And I know that when you get to that point in your career where you're offered this kind of residency it means that you've had some success. That you got a real career, you've got a repertoire."

He continued, "And I'm excited to see all that music, all your favorites, from my whole catalogue. We're going to play your favorite and make sure you have a good show, a good party — and have some really special romantic moments during the show."

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